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Know Your Zine Author: Cody Melior

Posted by Matthew Moyer on July 24, 2012

Cody Melior is quite probably one of Jacksonville’s most focused zine writers. Landing in Duval County from Seattle, Melior realized that there was no organized pinball community or fandom to speak of, so he decided to create it out of thin air. And he’s been incredibly successful at it; a large group of would-be pinball wizards has coalesced around Melior’s 904 Pinball Zine and Facebook community, sharing tips, tricks, and high scores. Adding to that, Melior became a kind-of Lewis and Clark of Jacksonville pinball, going out and personally mapping the location of every pinball machine in our city, said map then forms the bulk of his foldout zine. 

Now on its second issue, the 904 Pinball Zine is expanding into an all-purpose pinball information hub, incorporating interviews and gaming news. Melior’s enthusiasm is infectious; talking to him you really start to believe that pinball-mania is going to sweep aside more sedentary couch-potato pursuits like television and video games. If only….

What was your first exposure to zines?

The first absolutely interesting & unforgettable zine (most other zines are so forgettable) that I picked up was the Skill Shot pinball zine in Seattle WA. I picked that first issue up at my local pinball bar arcade called Shorty’s in the Belltown area where I lived in early 2008. They have local pinball news in it and a map on the back of where games are on location all around the Seattle region (my personal pinball treasure map).

What was your first exposure to pinball?

The first pinball machine that I played was a 1974 Sky Jump machine which was in my parents’ room in our old house on Rudy Dr W on the Southside. My dad kept this machine from a pinball arcade that he ran in the early 70s in Wyoming. He kept it because he thought it was her favorite game only to find out this year that High Hand was her favorite game from the arcade. The second he kept was traded to my aunt in Lakeland FL for furniture and I played it a lot there when I visited them. My cousin Scott has it currently in out of order condition and won’t sell it to me.

What was it that made you decide to combine these two interests and start your own zine?

When I moved back to Jacksonville from Seattle in 2009 I realized quickly that it would be harder to get my pinball fix. I found a machine here or there but no pinball places. I spent the summer of 2010 in Seattle and picked up more Skill Shot issues, ran around town playing pins again and went to the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show there. I hit up the Pacific Pinball Museum during a layover in San Francisco on my way to Boston that summer as well. I spent the end of 2010 and start of 2011 looking for machines to play in the 904 area code. I knew that I couldn’t be alone so I started the 904 Pinball Zine Facebook page to see who was out there and people joined almost instantly. A new friend who is what we’d call a collector/operator of pinball machines was asked to put machines to play at a Players By The Sea presentation of The Who’s Tommy (to enjoy during intermission mostly) and that was the final match to light the fire of me getting an issue out ASAP to have to share with people that went to see that event. That issue ended up in many locations in the 904 area code and shipped all over, with 450 copies being distributed.

Have you found that the pinball community in Jacksonville is bigger and more fanatical than you initially thought?

For better or worse or whatever… Jacksonville FL isn’t really a city (like Seattle) but instead is a huge town with a bunch of city stuff in it. No matter how many malls, strip malls, colleges, chain restaurants, or sports teams are here, the mindset and interest set of the average Jacksonvillesonian will be restricted to common bonds like sports, teevee, movies, pop culture, and the desperate consumption of goods and or services. Pinball is nowhere near as accessible as any of these interests or that of couch-warming video games. Arcades are now gone in Jacksonville and most people into Pinball are either collectors like myself, people that quest to play them on location or people that very casually play them (people I meet @ Tinseltown’s game room). I’ve met some very hardcore pinball collectors and players. Those people helped me keep the Facebook page and zine going. Most people have never seen or played the greatest pinball machines that I took for granted in Seattle. I’m doing what I can to promote pinball here and raise awareness rise so that I can then finally know how fanatical the 904 area code can actually become about pinball. It’s a duty that I’m proud to have and carry out.

What kind of response have you been getting from the zine?

On the Facebook group we have members from here to Seattle, from here to Sweden and in many different states. We’re the only pinball zine on the east coast of America (only one of 2 in the world being made?). I gave a copy of the 1st issue to the CEO of Stern Pinball and the CEO of Jersey Jack Pinball (a new company working on their first machine, Wizard of Oz, currently) when I met them at the Southern Pinball Festival in late 2011. They both accepted my invitation to interview them in the future. Many people seem to know about the zine, the issues go fast in most locations that I put them and people are happy that it exists. The pinball community existed here before the zine but it is now more connected online with the group and has helped more people join us, network, and contribute to the community.

What work goes into putting an issue of 904 Pinball Zine together? You’re incorporating interviews into and other features into the zine now?

Going into the 2nd issue the process was 1/4 patience, 1/4 an interview with a well known pinball designer, and 1/2 having the layout completed. I do the layout, most of the map, and local pinball activities before the interview. This process is occurring for the 3rd issue currently as well. The 3rd issue is based on the new and already in town at Latitude AC/DC pinball machine. In the future I may put out issues in-between ones with big interviews to focus more on local pinball matters and interview people not as well known yet many times just as interesting in the pinball scene as those who are huge world.

Since I did my first interview with pinball game designer George Gomez (who did the Lord of the Rings, Sopranos & the relatively new Transformers games) for the 2nd issue, the cycle is based on new games coming out and having an interview with someone known in pinball. Local news is added like plugs of one of the 3 pinball related conventions that happens in the state annually at this point & results from them. Lastly once the interview is done and convention news is added I make sure that the map is as up-to-date as possible. No matter what I do the map is outdated not long after the issue is put into print. So I don’t print hundreds at once, but instead I print them as I put them out and when machines change on location they are then changed on the map portion of the zine.

Favorite pinball machine to play in Jacksonville? Most challenging pinball machine?

AC/DC is hands down my favorite machine to play in the wild (term for playing pinball machines on location) in the 904 area code. Spider-Man used to be my favorite (hence him being on the cover of the first issue) but that machine was replaced with a Transformers machine. AC/DC & Spider-Man were designed by Steve Ritchie, who is also the designer of the first pinball machine that I ever bought, which was Terminator 2 last year. Transformers is no freaking doubt the most difficult and unforgiving machine in town. I walk up to the game and see an average last score of around 3 Million. For a few weeks I had the highest score @ 70 Million points until local pinball great ROZ knocked out 96 Million point (1st) & 99 Million point (Grand Champion) games leaving me @ 3rd behind a default grand champion score of 75 Million.

What’s next for 904 Pinball Zine?

The term full spectrum dominance comes to mind. The 904 Pinball Zine also has a youtube channel which has more interviews not in the printed zine, footage from pinball conventions, footage of pinball arcades in other regions and high scores from machines around the area code so people know who/what they’re up against next time they go out. A 904 Pinball Zine shirt is currently being designed. We’ve made a lot of ground in a year’s time and this is really just the beginning. We currently have 62 machines on location in what is the largest area code of America landwise. Considering that the Seattle area has over 2 times that amount of machines on location, pinball in the 904 area code has got a long way to go before it is anywhere near the status of being an overly saturated entertainment option and until pinball is known here as well as it is in Seattle.

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Punks, Punx, and Punxxx

Posted by Josh Jubinsky on July 18, 2012

You can’t live in two places at once, but the recent punk-related gems of catalog additions are a solid jog down memory lane for anyone involved in hardcore punk in the mid-2000’s. They are here on the shelf at Jacksonville’s Downtown Library with little vouching for them these days but the fact that they still exist. So here’s a heads up on the paper product in case you missed the boat this first time around, with a nod to a few digitized reincarnations.

Slug and Lettuce.

Bust out your magnifying glasses for this classic! Editor/writer/publisher Christine Boarts Larson makes sure this FREE publication in jammed back with as much great stuff as possible, hence the wee text size. Don’t let adjusting your glasses stop you though! Spring of 2012 marks it’s 25th year, so you know something great is happening here. (That’s 1987 for the math challenged.) Twenty five years of focusing on the general DIY / anarcho-punk themes of anti-authoritarian politics, vegetarian/vegan action, radical parenting, gardening, DIY culture.   You can even check out a ton of the the columns online at the recently created  The website also serves as an archive for a lot of great band photography Chris has done over the years. That archive has a lot of the art from the issues as well – Jeremy Clark’s artwork is amazing.  The site also contains some new content, two different podcast series; on Eco-punk and Permaculture.



Equalizing X Distort

Another no frills and no space wasted, pedal to the hardcore punk, zine.  Named after the classic Gauze LP you probably only own a bootleg of, the Equalizing Distort  zine is an extension of a radio show these four Canadian chaps put together.  Lots of interviews with bands and record reviews.   The issue we have at JPL is from 2006, but these Toronto locals have been busy since then. They operate a great website of the same name here.  It chronicles playlists from the show (complete with plenty of MP3’s!!) and information on the zine and local shows.   They also have archived some of the older issues here.

So come check them out soon! And until then, you have plenty of new websites to explore if hanging at a computer is your thing.

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(Micro) Zine Of The Week: Taking The Lane Vol. 3

Posted by Matthew Moyer on July 17, 2012

Taking The Lane Vol. 3: Unsung Heroes
By Elly Blue

This handsomely designed, pocket-sized tome looks at bicycling from a feminist perspective and is all the better for it. This time around, Elly Blue and company highlight inspirational figures– past and present– for women who travel by two wheels. Look out for Annie Londonderry!

Find Taking The Lane at your library.

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New Zines For July 2012

Posted by Matthew Moyer on July 10, 2012

And what would International Zine Month be be without zines? Enjoy!

Adorn. Vol. 20
Art: A Critique
Box Of Fumes. Vol. 1
The Christopher Worm. Vol. 1
Chumpire. Vol. 171: Nine Weeks Done Eight Times.
Cool Spots, USA: Delaware
Depression 2.0
Don’t Tread On Me. Vol. 9
Dork Book. Vol. 1
Equalizing-X-Distort. Vol. 6.8
Etc. Vol. 4
Fiat Lux. Vol. 1
A Guy Is Fighting A Monster Out Of Nowhere
Head Shy. Vol. 5
Heartattack. Vol. 45
Hip Mama. Vol. 46: The Secrets Issue
Indigo. Vol. 16
Interesting. Vol. 9: Striving To Be The Best Of Bathroom Reading.
Jimmy. Vol. 9: The Accidental Teleporter.
Kingfisher. Vol. 6: Collaboration.
Moments Of Madness Comics. Vol. 9
Moments Of Madness Comics. Vol. 5
Movement Magazine. Vol. 2.3
My Little Corner.
Nez Perce Indians.
O.D. Vol. 11: Alternative Literature And Reviews.
Ours For The Taking. Vol. 3
Picturebook Comics. Vol. 1: Framed.
Profane Existence. Vol. 45
Pulse Zine. Vol. 9
Second Nature Magazine. Vol. 6
Second Nature Magazine. Vol. 9
Shaman Jump. Vol. 1
Shish-Kebob. Vol. 1.2: The Bran Flakes Quarterly Journal.
Shattered Wig Review. Vol. 27
Skill Shot. Vol. 23 : Seattle’s Pinball Zine
Slug And Lettuce. Vol. 86
Slug And Lettuce. Vol. 81
Small Press Creative Explosion. Vol. 1
Sounds Of A Democratic Society. Vol. 2
Status Magazine. Vol. 14
Taking The Lane. Vol. 3: Unsung Heroes.
Taking The Lane. Vol. 5: Our Bodies Our Bikes.
Twenty-Nine Drawings In Twenty-Nine Days.
What Binds, What Makes, What Breaks.
The Yeti Times. Vol. 5
The Yeti Times. Vol. 7
Zero Gravity. Vol. 3

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Happy International Zine Month!

Posted by Matthew Moyer on July 3, 2012

To kick Zine Month off in style, we’re unveiling our limited edition, FREE John Waters “Read Zines” poster! Thanks to Folio Weekly photographer Walter Coker for snapping it for us! You can get your copy now at the Main Library at the Zine Display on the first floor. Check out some zines while you’re grabbing yours, why don’t you?

Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

(Micro) Zine Of The Week: Lou Reeder

Posted by Matthew Moyer on June 8, 2012

Lou Reeder / You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory split-zine
by Corrina Fastwolf and Matt Monochrome

A chance conversation while out on a record shopping expedition
birthed this split-zine, wherein memories of Lou Reed fandom (circa
Berlin no less!) segue gracefully into a tale of high school
misfits trying to turn a whole school onto the Violent Femmes.

Find Lou Reeder at your library.

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(Micro) Zine Of The Week: 904 Pinball Zine Vol. 2

Posted by Matthew Moyer on May 26, 2012

904 Pinball Zine Vol. 2

904 Pinball Zine, already a fun and useful local resource, tweaks their format with issue 2. Besides the foldout map listing every pinball machine in Jax, this one adds interviews and event recaps – inspired by Seattle’s Skillshot. Grab it!

Find 904 Pinball Zine at your library.

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New Zines For May 2012

Posted by Matthew Moyer on May 22, 2012

This month’s selection of zines is a bit different than what we’ve been offering the last few months. Sure we’ve got a great selection of newer zines (you’ve got to check out Taking the Lane), but we also cataloged a bunch of donations – including those gifted to us by the great Dave Mitchell – so what that means is this month you can read hardcore zines from the mid to late-Nineties, minicomix and Sci-Fi fanzines from the early Nineties, and a fan newsletter for Seinfold devotees. Don’t bother cranking up the time machine, just head to the Main Library downtown!

Basic Paper Airplane. Vol. 3
Bikenomics: How Bicycling Will Save The Economy (If We Let It).
Burn Brandon. Vol. 15
Charette’s Eye View. Vol. 9
Chihuahua And Pitbull. Vol. 2
Creepco. Vol. 3
Creepco. Vol. 2
Destined. Vol. 3
Disappointed: The Human Condition.
Dr. Agon dreams. Vol.3
The Duplex Planet. Vol. 132
The Duplex Planet. Vol. 138
8-track Mind Magazine. Vol. 90
Eventide. Vol. 3
Fantast. Vol. 1.2: Entertainment For Imagination Junkies.
Hardcore For The Kids Collective. Vol. 1
HeartattaCk. Vol. 49
Hotel Dire. Vol. 17: Death To Normalcy Issue.
The Hungry Maggot. Vol. 10
Interesting! Vol. 2: A Compilation Of Things I Find Interesting.
Love Dreams. Vol. 3
Mob Guy Comics.
Mole. Vol. 8
Nepotism Comix. Vol. 1
Nothing. Vol. 1.3: The Newsletter For Seinfeld Fans.
PDX By Bike: Your Guide To Exploring Portland, Oregon by Bicycle.
Piss And Vinegar. Vol. 4
Profane Existence. Vol. 57
A Punk Kid Walks Into A Bar…. Vol. 8
Rap sheet. Vol. 43
Razorcake. Vol. 27
Razorcake. Vol. 64
Razorcake. Vol. 65
Razorcake. Vol. 63
Science fiction randomly. Vol. 13
Second Nature Magazine. Vol. 5
Shish-Kebob. Vol. 1.1: The Bran Flakes Quarterly Journal.
Skill Shot. Vol. 2: Seattle’s Pinball Zine.
Slingshot. Vol. 108
Taking The Lane. Vol. 6: Lines On The Map.
Taking The Lane. Vol. 4: Sexy On The Inside.
(unTITLED) Vol. 2
Washing Machine.
The Yeti Times. Vol. 4

Posted in Announcements, New Items | Leave a Comment »

New Zines For April 2012

Posted by Matthew Moyer on April 28, 2012

New zines for April! Check out the the local goodness: All Your Friends Are Here, the first issue of Movement ever, These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite Christmas Films, and the new issue of 904 Pinball Zine!

All Your Friends Are Here. Vol. 1
Clutch. Vol. 19
Gutterslug. Vol. 2
How And Why: A Do It Yourself Guide.
How To Rock And Roll: A City Rider’s Repair Manual.
Miss Sequential. Vol. 3
Movement Aagazine. Vol. 1.1
Never Kneel. Vol. 2
904 Pinball Zine. Vol. 2
No More Coffee. Vol. 3: Stories, Etc.
Omitted. Vol. 1: Muses & Bruises.
The People I Love Best. Vol. 3
Play: A Trees And Hills Anthology.
Proof I Exist. Vol. 12
Q For Treason. Vol. 12
Show Me The Money. Vol. 32
A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Life. Vol. 1
A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very bad Life. Vol. 2
These Are The Quotes From Our Favorite Christmas Films.
You Don’t Get There From Here. Vol. 15

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(Micro) Zine Of The Week: Cryptic Slaughter Vol. 25

Posted by Matthew Moyer on April 25, 2012

Cryptic Slaughter Vol. 25
by Giovanni

Giovanni picks up his pen again for the first new issue of CS in five
years. We find him in Syria and then Turkey, reminiscing on what got
him started writing as a teenage punk, in between razro-sharp
vignettes and observations of his travels.

Find Cryptic Slaughter at your library.

Posted in Staff Picks, Zine of the Week | Leave a Comment »


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